Boston Spa – Birkin, 18th May 2021, 45 miles

Nick, Frank, Pete D, Mark and Bill.

Hello- It’s me again.Nick. Mark has a computer problem, Pete D had gone home and no-one else volunteered.It’s Tuesday so it’s the ‘unofficial ride’ meeting at Boston Spa Church . Before he got there ,Mark had already done a loop of a few miles and changed an inner tube. I had dropped off a Hermes parcel at Boston Spa Costcutter but the others didn’t think that qualified as a loop.

As on Sunday, rain threatened and some of us reckoned that coffee at Birkin would help us decide whether or not to go on to Askern. So after the run South, we wheeled, as we do, into the Fishing Lake Café, to find it closed. FYI they are presently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays due to staff shortage. Perhaps it was down to this disappointment but everyone opted for a shorter ride and hoped to find another caff. A garden centre at Hillam was closed but I had heard mention of a new café at Sherburn -in- Elmet so we pinned our hopes on that and on arriving in the village , I asked some young mothers at the bus stop if the rumour was true. Sure, they said, and pointed to it…

Penny’s Café is just a few yards north of the traffic lights on the left. It said “outdoor seating” and when I asked where that was she smiled condescendingly and pointed to a sign above my head with a big arrow. We followed the arrow. Space for bikes too! Penny, it turns out, is married to a cyclist, so they know how to design a menu for the likes of us. One of her tech-savvy staff also got my phone to work the covid app which has been a bit hit and miss in my hands. We sat in the sun for an early lunch whilst discussing, among other things, how far you might or might not go to round up your mileage at the end of a ride.

As we left, we agreed it was a good place to have discovered. We went a few yards back to the lights and took the Lotherton Hall-Aberford road to our various homes. Not one of our longer rides then – I put my bike in the garage and turned off the Garmin at 49.12 miles. Honest!

Nick Hopkinson